Buccleuch estate hires new energy director to develop wind, hydro and AD-power projects

Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson

MDS Estates Ltd – the company registered in England but which trades as Buccleuch – has recruited a new energy director to lead the company’s growing portfolio of power projects.

Alan Wilson, 47, will be responsible for energy developments across the company’s estates in Scotland and England.

Previously, he was Projects Director at Energos, a supplier of small-scale clean energy recovery from waste plants and technology. The company specialised in gasification projects in Norway, Germany and the UK.

Before that, Wilson worked in various divisions of Scottish Power after starting his career at John Brown Engineering in Glasgow.

Buccleuch represents the business interests of the Buccleuch family, which can trace its ancestry back to the 12th century in Scotland. The company chairman – the 10th Duke of Buccleuch – is also the 12th Duke of Queensberry.

As Energy Director, Wilson will be responsible for identifying new energy opportunities – such as the 200kW anaerobic digestion plant that was opened on the Bowhill Estate last year. Generation of energy for local use is also important at Drumlanrig Castle where Buccleuch operates a 200kW biomass boiler to provide heat for the house.

Buccleuch has recently received planning consent for of a pumped storage hydro scheme of up to 400MW on the former Glenmuckloch open cast coal mine in Dumfries-shire.

The project would make a major contribution to energy provision and breathe life into the former opencast site, which has ceased commercial coaling and is now undergoing restoration works.

Although major financial investment will be required in order for the scheme to become a reality, there is the potential of the creation of 250 jobs during a five-year construction programme and more than 15 long term local jobs when complete.

The Glenmuckloch site already has planning permission for the erection of eight wind turbines and Wilson will also be responsible for the development of the 12- turbine Hopsrig Wind Farm on the Eskdale and Liddesdale Estate should it receive planning consent in due course.

Similarly, the proposed North Lowther Energy Initiative, a joint venture with 2020 Renewables at Queensberry Estate – for which a planning application is due this spring – will be part of his portfolio.

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